Orphan Blocks and Effect on Blockchain
The concept of orphan blocks, also known as detached blocks, has gotten a great deal of attention lately. For those who are unaware, orphan blocks are blocks valid and verified, but that have yet to be accepted into the blockchain network. The lack of acceptance is often due to a timely delay concerning acceptance. When ab lock is not accepted, it is sent to the memory pool and funds are not lost.
In a more detailed overview, orphan blocks exist separate from the main chain. Delayed acceptance occurs when the block has propagated across nodes in the network for validation. Issues arise when latency problems and a time delay causes the production of two blocks at the same time. When two blocks are generated, a conflict occurs. The block that has the larger share of work is the one accepted and the other block is disregarded.
Orphan blocks can also be created when hackers use sufficient hashing power and attempt to reverse earlier transactions on the network. Transactions are then considered complete after the blockchain is six blocks ahead of the block that features the transaction. As a result, six confirmations are necessary.
When a block is orphaned, the transaction are sent to the memory pool, containing a list of unconfirmed transactions. If a transaction is lost from the memory pool, it no longer exists. Although this is a rare case, a does occur.
Even the blocks are completely valid, miners do not receive a block rewards. Instead, they are rewarded for mining uncle blocks, associated with the Ethereum blockchain.